Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria

Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, December 2


During the last decade, contemporary German and Austrian cinema has grappled with new social and economic realities. The “cinema of consensus,” a term coined to describe the popular and commercially oriented filmmaking of the 1990s, has given way to a more heterogeneous and critical cinema culture. Making the greatest artistic impact since the 1970s, contemporary cinema is responding to questions of globalization and the effects of societal and economic change on the individual.

This book explores this trend by investigating different thematic and aesthetic strategies and alternative methods of film production and distribution. Functioning both as a product and as an agent of globalizing processes, this new cinema mediates and influences important political and social debates. The contributors illuminate these processes through their analyses of cinema’s intervention in discourses on such concepts as “national cinema,” the effects of globalization on social mobility, and the emergence of a “global culture.” The essays illustrate the variety and inventiveness of contemporary Austrian and German filmmaking and highlight the complicated interdependencies between global developments and local specificities. They confirm a broader trend toward a more complex, critical, and formally diverse cinematic scene.

This book offers insights into the strategies employed by German and Austrian filmmakers to position themselves between the commercial pressures of the film industry and the desire to mediate or even attempt to affect social change. It will be of interest to scholars in film studies, cultural studies, and European studies.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781554582259
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Publication date: 09/01/2012
Series: Film and Media Studies
Pages: 314
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Gabriele Mueller is an associate professor of German Studies and affiliated with the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies at York University, Toronto. Her research focuses mainly on German cultural studies and German film studies. She has published essays on various aspects of post-unification German film, in particular on cinematic contributions to cultural memory discourses.

James M. Skidmore teaches German literature, film, and cultural studies at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses mainly on the intersections of politics, history, and societal development in narrative literature and film. He is the author of The Trauma of Defeat: Ricarda Huch’s Historiography during the Weimar Republic (2005), as well as articles on German and Canadian literature and film.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Acknowledgements ix

1 Cinema of Dissent? Confronting Social, Economic, and Political Change in German-Language Cinema Gabriele Mueller James M. Skidmore 1

Challenging Viewing Habits

2 The Counter-Cinema of the Berlin School Marco Abel 25

3 The Triumph of Hyperreality: A Baudrillardian Reading of Michael Haneke's Cinematic Oeuvre Sophie Boyer 43

4 Subversions of the Medical Gaze: Disability and Media Parody in Christoph Schlingensiefs Freakstars 3000 Morgan Koerner 59

Reassessing and Consuming History

5 Literary Discourse and Cinematic Narrative: Scripting Affect in Das Leben der Anderen Roger Cook 79

6 Heimat 3: Edgar Reitz's Time Machine Alasdair King 97

7 Troubled Parents, Angry Children: The Difficult Legacy of 1968 in Contemporary German-Language Film Joanne Leal 115

8 Creative Chaos as Political Strategy in Recent German-Language Cinema Mary-Elizabeth O'Brien 133

9 "Looking for an Old Man with a Black Moustache": Hitler, Humour, Fake, and Forgery in Schtonk! Florentine Strzelczyk 155

10 Haha Hitler! Coming to Terms with Dani Levy Peter Gölz 173

Questioning Collective Identities

11 German Fascination for Jews in Oliver Hirschbiegel's Ein ganz gewöhnlicher Jude Myriam Léger 191

12 Border, Bridge, or Barrier? Images of German-Polish Borderlands in German Cinema of the 2000s Jakub Kazecki 207

13 The Transnational Deutschkei in Yilmaz Arslan's Brudermorrd Michael Zimmermann 225

14 Diasporic Queers: Reading for the Intersections of Alterities in Recent German Cinema Alice Kuzniar 245

An Insider's View

15 The Construction of Reality: Aspects of Austrian Cinema between Fiction and Documentary Barbara Pichler 267

Filmography 283

Notes on Contributors 287

Index 291

Customer Reviews